Programme notes: Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 and Vaughan Williams' Bass Tuba Concerto

Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Christopher Stark

Leader: John Crawford

Sunday, 20th June 2021


Concerto in F Minor for Bass Tuba and Orchestra

Ralph Vaughan Williams


Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Christopher Stark

Soloist: Grady Hassan

Leader: John Crawford


Despite often being characterised as very traditional composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams would often explore the more unusual instruments, having included harmonica, vibraphone, flugel-horn and saxophone in some of his later works. Choosing to write a concerto for tuba brought about some initial scepticism given the instruments’ reputation as being cumbersome and incapable of virtuosity. Premiered on June 13th 1954 by Philip Catelinet with the LSO, the Concerto in F Minor for Bass Tuba and Orchestra is today one of Vaughan Williams’ most popular works.